Revolutionising a Key Customer’s Software Development Lifecycle
Recognising significant challenges within the Central Government department’s project teams, our customer identified that the absence of internal DevOps capabilities had resulted in a spectrum of issues. This included variability, a lack of accountability, security vulnerabilities, and redundant efforts due to the absence of standardised processes.
Version 1 was engaged to address these issues through the implementation of automation solutions and process design. The end goal was to improve the efficiency of all project teams through standardisation, offering a richer feature set of tooling in a secure and financially sound manner.
As the customer’s Platforms and Architecture sector expanded over the past five years, the growing development team, and increasing number of projects, highlighted the need for an internal DevOps-style function. Despite the rise in hosting capabilities, the development processes and pathways to these platforms were left unattended.
Our customer faced challenges with their DNS systems and software production. They needed improvements in security measures, a streamlined Single Sign-On process, and support with expanding their development toolset. Additionally, there were legacy tools to manage, and ongoing licensing agreements required attention. Version 1 addressed these challenges to enhance their overall digital infrastructure.
Version 1 was enlisted to enhance the efficiency of the customer team dedicated to resolving identified issues. Upon closer examination, it became evident that manual processes were significantly impeding various workflows. Recognising the need for a transformative approach, the decision was made to pivot exclusively to automation.
We enhanced DNS infrastructure efficiency and accessibility via infrastructure as code and a self-service model. Revamped GitHub RBAC for streamlined access, empowering external collaborators. Automated solutions efficiently manage legacy DNS systems, boosting overall reliability. Improved licensing and seat management through automation led to significant cost savings. Implemented a direct access L3 support service, reducing developer wait times by over 90% and, enhancing operational efficiency.
This strategic shift towards automation not only addressed the identified challenges but also positioned Version 1 to deliver streamlined and scalable solutions across the domain.
After 6 months of focused automation efforts, the team substantially increased its capacity to enhance the software development life cycle, creating a more streamlined and efficient workflow. This newfound capability prompted a strategic shift, with the team moving to concentrate on identifying key value-added streams. Notable deliverables included:
- Improved email security using MTA STS
- Implemented compliance monitoring and code coverage tools for GitHub
- Addressed challenges through major Proof of Concept works
- Streamlined user management with identity tools
- Optimised resources by removing dormant users Completed migration of legacy code
- Created Acronyms portal
- Expanded supported services from 9 to 21
- Managed ~130 Level 3 support requests monthly
- Introduced automated redirect service for decommissioned apps
Implementing these initiatives has greatly improved the software development life cycle, resulting in significant cost savings, operational efficiencies, and enhanced security. The practical enhancements introduced by the team have streamlined processes and improved the Customer’s operational capability. This approach reflected a commitment from the Customer to ongoing improvement, ensuring an efficient and secure operational environment for its developers.
There were DNS challenges with a manual setup of 4000 records in Amazon Route53, leading to errors. Version 1 improved this using Terraform and CI/CD, streamlining DNS for user-driven changes and reducing reliance on manual intervention. GitHub access management addressed security risks by restructuring access for 1000 developers. We adopted a team-based model and automated team-specific access, switching to a templated system using Terraform for external users. Level 3 Support Service empowered developers through direct access, managing ~130 monthly tickets with a response time of under 5 minutes.
Real Differences, Delivered
- Automated management of 4000 Route53 DNS records using IaC
- Over 2800 support requests serviced
- GitHub standards compliance from 19% to 51%
- £11000 per month savings
- No P1 in the DNS environment for 2.5 years
- Average response time to tickets under 5 minutes
- 13 new services introduced to developers